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The Umbrella Organisation

The Umbrella Organisation

May the power of the brolly live on!

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15 The Life & Death of Philip Knight
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rakspatel wrote in mycroft_brolly

I saw this this evening at the BFI.

Cut and pasted from the BFI website:

The tragic story of 15-year-old Philip Knight, who committed suicide whilst held in an adult prison.

The '15' in the title refers to the age Philip Knight was when he took his life while held in prison; and this moving drama-documentary draws attention to the 365 other under-16s held in adult prisons in 1993. Sensitively highlighting the emotional turmoil of Philip Knight, rejected by his foster parents, this dramatised account shows the efforts of those social workers closest to him as they battled with an inflexible and underfunded system. Kosminsky's assured and measured direction draws us in to the story, and the film features some powerful performances. A disturbing tribute to a troubled life.

Raks's Review

All Philip Knight wanted was a home. A mum and dad. A family. Someone to care about him. Surely that is not too much to ask? They are all things that most of us take for granted.

The sad truth is that some people do not have any of these things; the things that give life meaning and make life worth living.

Social services tried their best in this case. They did not fail, they did all that they could, given the constraints that they had to operate under, and tried their utmost. Social services can never be a parent and they can never replace a family. They can provide care but that is very different from love.

Human beings need someone else to care. Human beings need a family, although this does not have to be a traditional family or a traditional family structure. Human beings need love. Without that, you perish, because what is the point?

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I saw this some years ago, when it was first shown on TV, and was so moved I wrote a poem about it. Although my take on it was very different. I thought that the system failed him completely and didn't do anywhere near enough to help him.

And now that is very interesting. It is amazing how two people can see the same piece and yet come out with completely opposing impressions. Especially given the fact that we normally agree on everything!

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